Sunday, March 06, 2011

Doubles poker

I just watched the first three episodes of the "Doubles Poker Championship" that was shown on the Game Show Network a while back. It brings an interesting new twist to the game. 32 players enter for $50,000 each, then get randomly assigned into teams of two. Four teams compete in a match, so it takes four matches to complete one round. Points are assigned for finishing first, second, third, or fourth in a match. They redraw for partners for a second round, which I'm in the middle of now. After the "regular season" four rounds, the top half of the field with the highest point totals go on into the finals, paired up by point totals, and at the end the team that wins splits $1,000,000.

The disappointment is that the structure is obviously fast, and the editing is extreme. In one match, for example, the first hand shown was in level 3. It seems that only a couple of hands are shown before they get to the all-in/fold stage.

But the interesting aspect is the team dynamics. The players alternate streets: A handles pre-flop and turn, B handles flop and river, and they can't discuss it as the hand plays out. You sometimes end up with personality and/or style mismatches.

The biggest clash so far was Annette Obrestad giving Huck Seed a rather severe dressing down for a move she thought he shouldn't have made--raising with two pair on the turn on an intensely coordinated board. As the commentators noted, from the harshness of her words and tone it really seemed that she thought Seed had no idea how to play poker. (I think it's fair to say that his resume would suggest otherwise; he was winning the WSOP main event when she was 7 years old.) Conversely, in a post-show interview, he confessed that he thought she misplayed the river on that same hand--they might have been able to steal instead of ending up with a chopped pot--but he was much more subdued in raising his point. She responded that she didn't know how to manage that spot, because her style of play would not have put her in that situation.

It makes for an interesting and entertaining format, a genuinely new and different twist on televised poker shows.

I wish only two things--first, that they had doubled the number of shows in order to include more play before it got to the shoving point, and, second, that somebody had shown Huck Seed how to use a comb and a razor.


Anonymous said...

Annette O is a horrible person. She has no class or manners. She is the manifestation of the chat box rudeness brought into the real world. She is gross in all ways.

Anonymous said...

Completely Agree! I'm glad she hasn't manifested her online success to much live success(other than that one Euro Main Event) where she might be construed as some kind of female poker role model. I really wanted to root for her, too...but she appears to be a douche.

GeorgeX said...

My idea for a poker show would allow for the teammates to argue with each other in real time: http://PodPoker.TV

Wine Guy said...

I can't agree more about Ms Oberstadt. Classless, clueless. She really made me rethink poker at all when she played that tournament blind a few years ago. Too bad Huck didn't take a swing at her...